From writers to artists, Japan has a history of inspiring creatives to bring a new dimension to their work. When Spanish artist Amaia Arrazola took up an art residency in Tokyo, she was inspired to create an entire art portfolio after spending a month in Japan’s capital. The Tokyo Travel Sketchbook: Kawaii Culture, Wabi Sabi Design, Female Samurais and Other Obsessions is the fruit of Arrazola’s labour. Continue reading “The Tokyo Travel Sketchbook Review: Capturing The Contradictory Nature Of Japan”
In recent years, Japanese philosophy has had a profound effect on the West. Practices such as ikigai and yugen have become popular for developing a positive mental health routine. Yet one of the earliest Japanese practices to take off in the West happened to be an amalgamation of both cultures called kaizen.
A Japanese noun for ‘improvement,’ kaizen is all about making continuous change throughout life. In Kaizen: The Japanese Method Of Transforming Habits One Small Step at a Time, Sarah Harvey explores the practice in great detail. But rather than just being a typical self-help book, Harvey goes deeper by examining the history of kaizen and introducing psychological theory as well. Continue reading “Kaizen: The Japanese Method Of Transforming Habits One Small Step At A Time Review: Insightful And Resonant”
Japanese cooking features some of the most enjoyable ingredients on the planet and an izakaya is one of the best places to enjoy traditional Japanese fare. Famous for a small-plate style of serving, izakayas are a wonderful place to share a meal with friends and family.
The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook, written by Wataru Yokota, takes the reader on a journey through 120 classic izakaya dishes that can be cooked from home. Continue reading “The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook Review: An Excellent Book To Have In Your Kitchen”
The geisha is one of the most famous images of Japanese culture. Elegant, mysterious and graceful, geisha have connotations with a romantic side of Japan that’s been perpetuated by myths and legends. The truth is a lot more complicated.
Stephen and Ethel Longstreet’s Geishas and The Floating World delves into the myths surrounding geisha and separate fact from fiction. The book charts the rise and fall of the infamous Yoshiwara districts that became a part of The Floating World and women’s roles within it. Continue reading “Geishas And The Floating World Review: A Fascinating Read That Separates Myth From Reality”
Haruki Murakami is arguably the most well-known Japanese author in the west. His unique writing style has captured the attention of readers all over the world and one of his most memorable books is South Of The Border, West Of The Sun.
Focusing on the relationship between two childhood friends who reconnect in their thirties, South Of The Border, West Of The Sun contains all the classic tropes of a Murakami novel. There’s jazz, joy, heartbreak and the indomitable willpower of the human spirit to go after what it yearns for. Continue reading “South Of The Border, West Of The Sun Review: A Dream-Like And Radiant Love Story”
The pursuit of finding balance is a life-long goal that’s forever changing. Everyone has different perspectives on what they need to find peace, whether it’s through spending time with friends, or going for a long walk. Author Akemi Tanaka believes the best way to find balance is with chowa, the Japanese concept of harmony.
In her book, The Power Of Chowa, Tanaka tells the story of her life and pulls back the curtain on what it means to walk your own path in Japanese culture. Soulful, honest and powerful, The Power Of Chowa is a book that’s worth reading. Continue reading “The Power Of Chowa Review: Soulful, Honest And Relatable”
Ryu Murakami is one of Japan’s most famous authors. His work is often characterised by shocking violence and off the wall themes, as seen from hits like In the Miso Soup and Audition. But even the enfant terrible of contemporary Japanese literature doesn’t have to be defined by one type of genre. Murakami is just as capable of writing a story that’s relatable and deeply personal like Sixty-Nine. Continue reading “Sixty-Nine Review: A Nostalgic Novel That Celebrates The Endless Possibilities Of Youth”